ITF Global Tennis Report 2021 Shows Worldwide Participation Gains

August 16, 2021

LONDON (Aug. 16, 2021) — The ITF has published the ITF Global Tennis Report 2021 which assesses the impact of the pandemic on worldwide tennis participation and other measurables and reveals that tennis participation continues to rise globally.

The new report is an important and timely update to the ITF Global Tennis Report 2019, which established for the first time a worldwide picture of tennis performance and participation. The data provides crucial insight that informs the ITF’s global development strategy which sees over $10 million invested each year to ensure the sustainability and long-term health of tennis.

Key findings of the report indicate that there are more than 87 million players within the 41 nations that contributed, an increase of 4.5% in these countries compared with the 2019 report which was based on data collected from 195 nations. Positive growth has also been reported in the total number of tennis courts, clubs and coaches. The findings paint a picture of a sport in good health despite the impact of the pandemic. The data points to tennis’s strong foundations as the ITF and its member nations continue to implement a global development strategy and digital innovation which includes the worldwide roll out the ITF World Tennis Number, aiming to accelerate growth in participation in line with ITF2024 strategic goals.

The ITF’s goal is to increase the number of tennis players globally, and to provide development support for the most talented players, particularly in regions where resources are most needed. The report also contains performance data for 2017-2020, enabling the ITF to measure and benchmark its member nations’ involvement in the elite levels of the game. Data is provided for the number of players from each nation with junior and professional rankings and Grand Slam tournament main draw and qualifying places.

2019 performance data – used for the 2021 report as most representative of the international game given the hiatus in the 2020 tennis calendar – shows 113 nations with a professionally ranked player, while junior players from 148 nations held an ITF Junior World Tennis Tour ranking. This follows the Olympic tennis event at Tokyo 2020 which saw 45 nations represented, 142 nations competing in the Davis Cup by Rakuten and 116 nations competing in the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas in 2020/21.

ITF President David Haggerty said: “Together with our 210 member nations, the ITF is committed to increasing the number of people playing tennis by an additional 30 million by 2030. Grassroots tennis is where it all begins, and our sport continues to prove its popularity and resilience despite the challenges of the past 18 months. The ITF would like to thank the 41 national associations that supplied the detailed data which has made this report possible. By having a clear understanding of the global landscape, the ITF can ensure an effective international development strategy and channel investment where it is needed most. This has never been more important than in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The 2021 ITF Global Tennis Report can be read in full here.